Bourg d'Oisans, Isere, Rhone-Alpes, France
Small Cabinet, 8.7 x 5.7 x 4.0 cm
Many years ago these gemmy, beautiful amber-brown axinites (now renamed officially as Ferroan Axinite or Axinite-Fe) from Bourg d'Oisans were the world's best for the species. Today, the high alpine clefts rarely produce fine pieces and these old classics are considered to be antique treasures. The quality, transparency, size, and sparkle of these crystals from France has been surpassed only very rarely in modern times, by axinite from the Urals and a few fine specimens from Northern California. Even then, those are different in habit and aspect. This fine axinite specimen hosts several, sharp, axe-like, glassy and gemmy, clove-brown crystals, to 3.5 cm across. This is a significant, classic specimen from a locality that goes back hundreds of years as one of the most famous in Europe for minerals.